As of June 2023, penalties for those convicted of retail theft will be more severe than they have been in the past. In New Mexico, stolen merchandise totaling more than $500 in value is a felony. House Bill 234 allows prosecutors to add totals over a period of 90 days, which increases the chances of elevating criminal charges to felony levels.
Penalties for felony convictions are much stiffer than they are for misdemeanors. It was reported that more than 30 people were arrested in Albuquerque in a recent sting operation. Investigators say they recovered $7,000 worth of stolen goods.
Right to criminal defense support
While dozens of people were arrested and will be facing shoplifting charges in connection with the same investigation, each accused individual is entitled to due process. All of them will be able to present a defense to the charges. The American criminal justice system guarantees the presumption of innocence, unless and until prosecutors prove otherwise in court and beyond a reasonable doubt.
Conviction may lead to more than a year behind bars
Anyone convicted of fourth-degree felony shoplifting in New Mexico stands to face up to 18 months in jail. Penalties for conviction may also include thousands of dollars in fines. It makes sense to request experienced criminal defense support as soon as one becomes subject to a criminal investigation or has been arrested and formally charged with a retail theft crime. Strong legal support is often the key to obtaining a positive outcome in court.